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Using Small Business IT Support to Secure Communication Channels

Conceptual image of IT Support of a person's hand holding a tablet with icons of small businesses floating above it.

Businesses need communication channels to connect with customers, clients, vendors, employees, prospects, and partners. But most modern communication channels may require small business IT support expertise to run smoothly.

Downtime on communication channels can kill productivity, hurt client relationships, affect customer support services, and more. Worse, unsecured communication channels can result in confidential data leaks that can damage brand reputation and affect customers.

The right IT support network is necessary to secure all communication channels and create safe means of sharing data between internal and external devices. Managed IT service providers can do this in several ways.

Overview of Small Business IT Support and Security

Small business IT support can provide assistance in vital areas of infrastructure security.

Data Encryption

Remote connections pose significant security risks. It’s a serious problem, especially in hybrid workplaces. Someone connecting to an unsecured WiFi network to read work emails or connect to a company server exposes the company to a potential cyber-attack.

They may inadvertently download malware or have their messages intercepted due to a lack of network and device protection. Implementing end-to-end encryption is one of the top security priorities.

Small business IT support can help with the implementation. But since this can be expensive to handle in-house, a third-party managed service provider specializing in managed IT could be a better option.

Not only is end-to-end encryption prioritized, but IT specialists can install the best encryption protocols for different connections and communication channels. In addition, remote monitoring ensures that encryptions remain hard to crack.

Overhauling Existing Channels

Businesses use various communication channels for employees, stakeholders, and customers. Popular options include the following.

  • Email
  • Slack
  • Zoom
  • Dropbox
  • Microsoft OneDrive
  • VoIP apps
  • Social media platforms
  • Messaging apps

Every communication channel is different and has its own set of vulnerabilities. Some may lack native encryption support, while others are easier to hack. In some cases, communication channels support additional file sharing, which can create a new list of problems.

Small business IT support teams can address each communication channel individually. IT specialists can analyze their vulnerabilities, make a threat assessment, and implement a custom solution. In addition, communications can be restricted to select devices to reduce the chance of outside interference or message interceptions.

Modifying the Infrastructure

Every business can install a barebones IT security infrastructure with a firewall, anti-malware tools, and content filtering applications. But that usually only helps against a few security threats.

A security infrastructure that encases the internal network in a protective bubble may prevent outside attacks. Unfortunately, it won’t do much to stop outgoing messages from being intercepted or protect remote network devices.

Small business IT support is necessary to improve subpar IT security infrastructures or build them from scratch following specific guidelines. Managed IT service providers can implement specific solutions for communications channel security.

Only then will incoming and outgoing messages with network devices and third-party users will  be protected from interception or corruption.

Training Employees

Even the best security measures aren’t 100% effective against information leaks. In many cases, human error and lack of cyber threat awareness lead to data leaks, intercepted messages, and network entry points for cybecriminals[SP1] .

Working with an experienced small business IT support team enables companies to provide their employees with proper training. People can learn to use VPN apps, multi-factor authentication, and other essential IT security tools.

In addition, they can get a crash course in cybersecurity threats, the dangers of using weak or repeating passwords, not having multi-factor authentication, and not screening messages and websites correctly.

Managed services can only do so much if people aren’t careful when using their personal and business communication channels and devices. Staff training makes all other security measures more efficient at detecting and dealing with threats.

Ongoing Support

Creating an IT security infrastructure isn’t a one-and-done task. New vulnerabilities appear every day, and hackers develop more sophisticated ways to bypass security systems. Therefore, security software keeps evolving to deal with new threats, as well.

Software tools require timely updates. Devices need firmware patches to keep their security up to the highest industry standards. Small business IT support can monitor the infrastructure continuously, scanning for attacks and suspicious behavior and making periodic modifications to ensure constant protection.

And while some automation is always welcomed, it’s better to have real people watching the infrastructure, ready to intervene at any moment, including through on-site maintenance.

Policy Enforcement

There’s no point in working hard on securing communications channels if employees and other device users disregard the risk of information leaks. But companies with no IT background or in-house experts can struggle to educate and enforce security policies.

Moreover, a team member can be easy to influence and have them play favorites, granting certain users extra privileges. The risk of human error and poor judgment can potentially increase.

Outsourcing small business IT support is a better choice because it gives admin control to an objective third party. Managed IT service providers have the client company’s best interests in mind and don’t care about office politics.

Therefore, a fair and merit-based authentication and privileges hierarchy can be created to ensure security policies remain enforced at all times.

Get the Right Small Business IT Support for Your Company

Securing business communications channels plays a key role in protecting company data, proprietary and confidential information, customer databases, and much more. A small business IT support team can offer protection 24/7, all year round.

Picking the right partner with ample experience, a local presence, and a long list of IT solutions can help your business protect its data and communications with entities not connected to the company’s internal network.

If you need managed IT support in Tulsa, contact JD Young today for more information or a consultation.

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